(CBS News) With the expected birth of the Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate's first child just weeks or maybe even days away, worldwide interest is growing, and the heir to the royal throne's arrival is affecting everything from London traffic to global betting markets.
The baby stakeout has already begun in front of the hospital where Kate will soon give birth. News photographers have been divvying up the sidewalk in front of St. Mary's hospital in London, ready to capture the moment the royal baby is presented to the world. It's expected to be a scene much like the presentation by Prince Charles and Princess Diana of their son Prince William -- 31 years ago at the same hospital.
Royal baby preparations are being made far and wide. The government of Finland sent over a traditional "baby box" -- a kit all expectant mothers in the Nordic country receive which includes baby clothes, bedding, and even a condom.
Robert Hardman, author of "Her Majesty," told CBS News, "Royal births are always a moment for great celebration, when Prince Charles was born they even dyed the fountains of Trafalgar Square blue. I don't know whether that's going to happen this time, but it's a huge global event. In fact, the level interest is... there's more interest overseas right now than there is in Britain."
Companies are milking the baby craze like the cash cow it is, with mugs, plates and dolls, and of course, baby clothes. A royal nursery was mocked up at a London hotel, fit for a future king or queen. Who knows? It's worth a gamble. And statistically, most are betting on Kate to give birth on July 13, to a brown-haired girl.
The favorites in the name game: it's a close call between Alexandra and Charlotte. How about William Jr. at 40-to-1? The name Fergie has 500-to-1 odds.
RJ Bell, founder of the betting website Pregame.com, said, "you can bet -- what will the name of the baby's eventual first boyfriend or girlfriend be? So you're betting way into the future, and the favorite on that is Robert, and it makes sense since they expect the baby to be a girl."
"Girl or boy," notes CBS News' Charlie D'Agata, "babymania has reached a peak. All that's left now; a pregnant pause, and a royal delivery."